Worldwide, 592,901 have lost their lives prematurely (17 July 2020) out of 13.9 million confirmed cases of Covid-19. This includes health care workers (HCW). At least 12,454 HCW have been infected and 171 martyred in countries across Asia-Pacific region (11 June).
The number of doctors who have died in the course of duty fighting this war against SARS-CoV-2 were at least China (34), Bangladesh (35), Indonesia (38), Pakistan (37), and rising.
This is why we doctors are astonished and shocked by the news about university students (Tuscaloosa, USA) who throw ‘coronavirus parties’ to infect guests, giving prizes to those who catch Covid-19 first.
The organisers intentionally invite people who have tested positive to party with guests who would “like to catch the infection”. Attendees would put money in a pot, and whoever gets infected first will get the cash (March 2020).
On 6 May 2020, the Seattle Times, Washington reported that contact tracing revealed people wanting to get sick with Covid-19 and to get it over with, had attended Covid parties.
Wikipedia defines a coronavirus party (also called corona party, Covid party or lock-down party) as a gathering with the intention of catching Covid-19 only brain-dead retards attend.
On 13 July, a 30-year-old man from Texas died from Covid-19 after attending a Covid-19 party hosted by an infected person. The chief medical officer at the Methodist Hospital in San Antonio said the man had thought the virus was a hoax, despite it killing more than 135,000 people in the United States so far. “He thought the disease was a hoax. He thought he was young and invincible and wouldn’t get affected by the disease”. One of the things that was heart-wrenching that he said to his nurse was, ‘You know, I think I made a mistake.’
Please, Don’t Intentionally Infect Yourself. Signed, an Epidemiologist
Dr Greta Bauer, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, listed seven reasons why the “coronavirus party” is a bad idea:
- Immunity is not a sure thing. We have not found out whether this even exists. We won’t know for sure until recovered patients are studied over time.
- Reinfection is possible? Recovered people have tested positive again. It is not clear if this is a reinfection from a failure of short term immunity, or a relapse or a false positive test. There is a real risk that the second time around, the disease may be more severe, even fatal. (In some viral infection e.g. dengue fever, someone who has antibodies to an earlier infection will develop the more severe deadly, haemorrhagic form (DHF). This is why there is no safe dengue fever vaccine yet).
- The virus could continue living inside you – in some patients, detectable virus can be found in faeces after apparent recovery. Will the coronavirus remain dormant in the body to cause disease later in life, e.g. chickenpox and shingles, Hepatitis B and liver cancer?
- Even the young can be hospitalised — CDC estimates that about one in every five or six people aged 20 to 44 required hospitalisation.
- Survivors could suffer long-term damage — previously healthy people are being left with potentially long-term lung and heart damage.
- “Mild” by medical professionals mean “not needing hospitalisation” — not mild in symptoms e.g. pneumonia, brain fog, body aches and post-viral fatigue.
- No shortcut to immunity – better avoid infection as long as possible until better treatment options, and more is known.
“For those who have not had Covid, or witnessed the mess it leaves behind, again, I urge you, do whatever you can to avoid this tornado.”Richard Quest, CNN business editor-at-large
When young people recklessly plan Covid parties and deliberately expose themselves, they may indeed be “lucky” to hit the jackpot, get infected and all the cash. But, be warned, they may also hit the jackpot for death, even though this is less common than for those above 60 years of age.
They may bankrupt their family with their medical bills. One man who was admitted for 62 days for Covid at medical facility in Washington USA got a whopping US$1.1 million hospital bill.
Young people may be the trojan horse that brings SARS-CoV-2 into their homes and workplace and end the lives of older family members, health care workers or unsuspecting colleagues.
The young children infected by them may become seriously ill with multisystem inflammatory disease. Among other things (including death), this causes aneurysms in the coronary vessels of the heart, needing long term cardiology follow-up for premature heart attacks and early death.
Covid damages the lungs and may leave the young person a respiratory cripple. It may prevent him from achieving optimal performance as an athlete or singer the rest of his shortened life.
There are increasing reports of the serious long-term effect of Covid on the brain and peripheral nerves. Richard Quest of CNN described his clumsiness, cough, tiredness and mental lapses, two months post-Covid: “I’m still discovering new areas of damage. I am living and suffering from the long tail of Covid-19.”
The long-term effects of Covid19 infection on all the systems of the body is an evolving science. The jury is still out.
SARS-CoV-2 is not user friendly. There is no telling who will be asymptomatic and who will lose his life or health. Choose life, not the freedom to get sick or die.
A fusion opinion from a Sarawakian public health specialist, paediatrician, ex-associate professor, disaster relief and medical volunteer, passionate about helping people learn.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.